The New Science of Corporate Health and Fitness: Accurate Evaluation Leads to a Prescription for Higher Productivity By An Energized Employee and Management Team
There is a direct and powerful relationship between a company & #237;s successful growth and the health of that company & #237;s management and employees. An by “health” we & #237;re talking not only of the absence of disease. Health, in a company & #237;s management view, should mean each employee functioning at peak efficiency–or coming as close to that level of efficiency as possible.
Good health is a money maker, just as employee stress, lethargy, work-related accidents and other physical and emotional ills are money losers. Either way, management pays for whatever state of health his or her employees are in. We talk of health insurance as an employee benefit. Actually, it benefits the employer as much as the employee.
So there really are two issues so far as employee health is concerned: one is that employees with optimum health are more productive, more creative workers. The second is that the avoidance of illness or injury will save money in health insurance and worker & #237;s comp costs, employee downtime and temporary replacement personnel.
While most companies offer an employee benefits program that includes health care in the event of illness, few companies know how to capitalize on the tremendous progress that & #237;s been made to bring employees to peak physical effectiveness–and thereby peak productivity–and to a condition of illness avoidance.
“Greater profits through employee health and fitness,” is a win-win philosophy and very much reflective of the mutual benefits that can occur in a capitalist society.
To achieve a preview of what such a philosophy can mean, examine the number of sick days employees and management take a year. Look into time spent through injury. Evaluate employee moral, attitude and energy levels. The “right” health and fitness program will bring dramatic, positive changes in each of these factors.
The right employee health and fitness program is one that & #237;s tailored to a company & #237;s management and employees, their time available to devote to the program and existing physical problems.
The first step is a Health and Fitness Audit: employee responses to ten questions that provide an accurate, bird & #237;s eye view of the state of a company & #237;s health-individually by employee and company-wide.
The result of the audit is a Company Health and Fitness Profile: information which, properly acted upon, will not only save thousands of dollars a year, but lead to a healthier, more enthusiastic and more productive work-force.
In recent years, a new professional discipline has evolved to serve the health and fitness needs of small and large corporations. These individuals have taken their place in the cadre of professional experts companies rely upon to conduct their business.
Today & #237;s corporate health and fitness consultant is a trained and experienced professional in total-body health and fitness in a corporate environment. Their profile goes far beyond the “body builder & #237; image you & #237;ll find in a local gym. Following their Health and Fitness Audit, they write a tailored, company-specific prescription that will define what must be done, individually and collectively, to bring a workforce to a status of maximized health.
That prescription will vary from company to company and from employee to employee within each company. Factors such as diet, weight, exercise habits (or the absence of them), recreational pursuits and employees & #237; health history are among the factors that will determine the corporate fitness consultant & #237;s prescription for your company. And while the combination of these factors becomes an evaluation, it must not be a judgment of anyone & #237;s state of health.
Equally important to what is prescribed is that it be doable-without imposing impossible burdens on the daily schedule of work. A company health and fitness program must be approached in such a way that early positive results help to motivate employees to strive toward higher levels of health and fitness accomplishment.
(Nigel Sampson has developed his own science of corporate health and fitness based on studies in his native Australia and in the United States. He may be reached at 213-230-0749).